Sunday, February 25, 2018

The Moors in Durham

On Sunday, February 25, 2018 at 2:40 am by M. in    No comments
Jen Silverman's The Moors is performed in Durham, NC:
The Moors
by Jen Silverman
February 22 – March 10, 2018
Directed by Jules Odendahl-James
Produced by Manbites Dog Theater

A family quarrels. A governess arrives. A servant schemes. A hen falls from the sky. A hound hunts his prey. Join us for Jen Silverman’s decidedly modern take on the Romantics’ dark and brooding landscapes. Finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.
Triangle Arts Entertainment publishes a review:
Jen Silverman’s dark comedy, The Moors, previewed at Manbites Dog Theater on Thursday night to a sold-out crowd who delighted in the eyebrow-raising and irreverent trip into the bleak landscape that inspired the Emily Brontë classic, starring Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw. Silverman utilizes that stark setting, places very different characters into the windswept countryside, then turns the conflict between them on its ear.
The result? An excursion into the world of women, left alone to their own devices to dream and survive and to determine their place in what is, for them, a rather gloomy world. Though the story is a darkly funny one with many original lines that make you feel guilty for laughing, the show’s bright and shining moments are the result of an extremely talented ensemble led by director Jules Odendahl-James, in her last directorial assignment for the beloved institution. (...)
Jen Silverman, an award-winning playwright whose work has been performed throughout the United States, is highly considered as a playwright, as well as a novelist (with two books under contract with Random House). She uses her talent as a satirist to bring an otherworldly feel to this play that references not only the bleak landscape that the Brontës used as a backdrop for several novels, but also mentions the Brontë sisters’ brother, Branwell, as an important component of the story, yet he’s a character who never comes on stage. (Dawn Reno Langley)
IndyWeek also reviews it. 

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Saturday, February 24, 2018 12:17 pm by M. in , , , , ,    No comments
Westword discusses the performances of Jane/Eyre in Denver:
“We liked that Jane Eyre is an early story written in a first-person woman’s perspective,” says [Miriam] Suzanne, who wrote the adaptation. “It really follows Jane in her own words through a coming-of-age story. It’s a real mix of these tender emotional moments, bits of storytelling, and then these political asides where she talks about early feminist ideas. We found those layers interesting.”
Suzanne and [Julie] Rada also appreciate that the novel was originally published under Brontë’s androgynous pseudonym, Currer Bell.
“I think that the biggest conceptual change that people will notice is that looking back on the novel, things that at that point would’ve been read as close friendships between women — since both Julie and I are queer — read as very romantic. We decided to go with that and take that angle, even if it’s not the angle that was intended,” says Suzanne. “It’s not just a love story about Mr. Rochester anymore.”
In transforming such a prominent literary work into an intimate production, Suzanne and Rada were forced to shed a lot of the excess content, including peripheral characters and side plots. They also created an older Jane, who narrates the action, and a character representing Brontë herself. Actor Meghan Frank plays multiple characters, including Mr. Rochester and several women.
To pull off the production, Suzanne decided to incorporate one of her other artistic projects: Teacup Gorilla, a local indie-rock group that melds storytelling and poetry with music; Dameon Merkl of the Lost Walks also contributes original music to the project.
“The music allows us to be a little bit less literal," Suzanne says. "It’s not a musical, but the production is sort of interspersed with songs in a back-and-forth between theatrical scenes and scenes that are sung.”
Suzanne and Rada also had to figure out how to represent a character named Bertha, who was treated in ableist and racist ways in the novel, Suzanne says. Changing this representation was important to them, because ultimately they want to create socially positive art. (Sage Marshall)
Yorkshire Evening Post awaits eagerly the upcoming performances of the Northern Ballet Company's Jane Eyre production in Leeds:
The ultimate heroine, Jane Eyre’s journey to overcome the odds is one of literature’s finest love stories and it will be brought to the stage in Leeds thanks to Northern Ballet. Orphaned at a young age and cruelly treated by her Aunt, Jane Eyre grows up knowing little kindness but goes on to become one of the most iconic heroines in literature.
With choreography by Cathy Marston, and music played live by Northern Ballet Sinfonia, Northern Ballet’s dance actors will bring this tale of romance to life.
Colour politics in The Daily Star (Pakistan):
Moreover, the protagonist Jane fainting in a 'red' room in the classic novel Jane Eyre out of sheer fear of a ghost is a shout-out to the strong emotions associated with the colour. (Ramisa Haque)
The New York Times reviews some new DVD releases, including Pedro Costa's 1994 film Casa de Lava:
Mr. Costa, who wrote and directed the film, has said that he made it under the spell of the luridly titled Val Lewton B-movie “I Walked With a Zombie”(1943), itself inspired by the novel “Jane Eyre.” As in the Lewton film, a professional tending to a mysteriously bewitched patient is transported to a tropical island where, fascinated by the indigenous culture and colonial legacy, she strives to resolve her own sexual identity. (J. Hoberman)
Windy City Times interviews the writer John Rechy:
Owen Keehnen: Speaking of, what writers most influenced you as a novice writer?
JR: A whole range: the classic writers, Greek tragedies, modern writers, Faulkner, Lorca, Styron, Carson McCullers ( Reflections in a Golden Eye is a tight masterpiece in which every character is despicable, and I love that ), Nabokov, Brontë, Thomas Berger, Proust, Joyce, Djuna Barnes, Flannery O'Connor. So many more. But I've been influenced by movie-serials, comic books; Elvis Presley, Fats Domino, Billie Holiday, Maria Ewing, Chuck Berry.
The poet Selina Tusitala Marsh describes in The Guardian her experience writing and performing a poem for Queen Elizabeth II on behalf of 53 nations for Commonwealth Day at Westminster Abbey:
Earlier, in the semi-empty abbey, I had wandered through the brass gates and up the stairs to the Henry VII Lady Chapel, sky-gazed at the pendant fan-vault ceiling – the orbis miraculum – milled round Poets’ Corner fingering Chaucer’s name (interred in 1556), tracing the Brontë sisters’ plaque, accidentally stepping on CS Lewis (it’s OK, his bones aren’t there). I needed to exit for a quick slice of sun after hours of being inside this most magnificent mausoleum of princes and poets. I remembered the passageway to the cloisters.
A press release from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, Arts Council England, and Michael Ellis MP alerts of the possible exit from the UK of John Martin's painting The Destruction of the Pharaoh's Host:
Martin’s mezzotints of Biblical subjects, such as The Destruction of Pharaoh’s Host published in 1833, were hugely popular and influential with admirers including Charles Dickens and the Brontë sisters who grew up with them on the walls of their father’s parsonage.
The Riverside Dickens Festival events at The Press-Enterprise:
Performers fill the streets and buildings to portray famous authors and other personalities, including Edgar Allan Poe, the Brontë sisters and Charles Dickens himself. Guests can have serious discussions with them, or simply take a photo or two. (Deanna Gomez)
The readers of Eastern Daily Press recommend books for World Book Day 2018:
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
As a teenager I was bewitched by the love story between Jane and the brooding, troubled Rochester. The whole story was tomb-dark lit only by the flickering flames of the fire that engulfed them and all that passion glowing in the embers! (Liz Coates, Great Yarmouth)
The Huffington Post (in French) reviews the Québec performances of Hurlevents:
Hurlevents, la dernière création de Fanny Britt, porte bien son nom, et ce, au-delà du jeu de mots tiré du titre du roman dont elle est inspirée : « Les Hauts de Hurle-vent ». J'en suis sortie complètement étourdie, car fouettée d'un tourbillon de thèmes controversés dont souffre notre société. Et peut-être là mon seul reproche sur cette écriture brillante et modeste. (Marie-Claude Plourde) (Translation)
Tips (Austria) is excited about the upcoming performances in Gmunden of Jane Eyre. The Musical:
In seinem vierten Jahr zeigt der Musical Frühling in Gmunden die deutschsprachige Erstaufführung des Broadway-Musicals Jane Eyre, nach dem gleichnamigen und mehrmals verfilmten Roman von Charlotte Brontë. (...)
Elisabeth Sikora spielt die Titelheldin: „Jane Eyre ist eine der schönsten Rollen der Musical-Literatur. Eine spannende Figur, eine starke Frau, die für Freiheit und Selbstbestimmung kämpft. Dazu diese wunderbare Musik – es ist jede einzelne Nummer so schön!“ Yngve Gasoy-Romdal, der den geheimnisvollen Mr. Rochester mimt, freut sich schon auf die Produktion: „Eine tolle Geschichte und tolles Team, Markus Olzinger und natürlich Caspar Richter, mein alter Dirigent vom Musical Mozart in Wien. Ich freue mich auf Österreich!“ (Daniela Toth) (Translation)
Le Devoir (in French) talks about the writer François Blais:
François Blais se souvient d’avoir longtemps potassé la bibliothèque familiale de son père prof de français et de sa mère infirmière, une collection « assez fuckée », qui abritait à la fois de la science-fiction, des Agatha Christie, du Boris Vian et du Réjean Ducharme. Une absence de hiérarchisation entre culture savante et populaire trouvant son miroir dans les émois culturels désordonnés de ses personnages, lecteurs des soeurs Brontë et de Stephen King, amateurs de cinéma d’auteur et de jeux vidéo débiles, sur qui le poids de l’actualité littéraire ou des « livres-qu’il-faut-absolument-avoir-lus » n’a aucune emprise. (Dominic Tardif) (Translation)
Libreriamo (in Italian) lists books to read if you are in love with someone already engaged:
Un libro che racconti un amore travagliato come quelli di Heathcliff e Catherine in Cime tempestose di Emily Brontë è il suggerimento di Emanuela Isola. (Translation)
Maybe the above-mentioned someone should have read this Actitud Fem (in Spanish) list of books you should read before you marry:
Cumbres Borrascosas - Emily Brontë
Una historia de amor que sufre los peligros de la mente humana, el amor, la locura, la venganza, el odio y la frustración.
Heathcliff llega a las Cumbres Borrascosas para desatar una serie de emociones que se van revelando a través de una historia de amor. (Translation)
Finding Wuthering Heights on both lists is a bit confusing.

Levante News (Italy) presents a curious theatre production: La radio racconta at the Sori Teatro:
Martedì 27 febbraio, alle ore 21.00 al Teatro comunale di Sori, “La radio racconta”. Anteprima nazionale.
Di e con Gian Luca Favetto e Marino Sinibaldi
Produzione Teatro Pubblico Ligure (...)
Dal palcoscenico i due protagonisti della serata sveleranno i segreti nel lavoro di autori, conduttori, tecnici e registi, ripercorrendo la nascita di alcuni programmi culto del canale Rai, di cui si ascolteranno sigle e voci, divenute negli anni veri e propri marchi di fabbrica evocativi di un tema: il cinema per Hollywood Party, i libri per Fahrenheit (inventata da Sinibaldi), l’attualità per Tutta la città ne parla, la lirica per La Barcaccia, la storia delle religioni con Uomini e profeti, il teatro con Piazza Verdi proseguendo con Radio3 Scienza, Radio Tre Suite, le splendide letture ad alta voce (in questo periodo Anna Maria Guarnieri legge Cime tempestose di Emily Brontë). (Translation)
The rise of bibliomemoirs in Financial Times including Samantha Ellis’s Take Courage: Anne Brontë and the Art of Life. Country Living lists positive quotes about life including one by Charlotte Brontë. Englishable talks about the 'romance' in Wuthering Heights.
12:35 am by M. in ,    No comments
After some performances in Cornwall (Hall for Gwinear and at the Grampound Community Hall), Publick Tranport's humour piece We Are Brontë is touring again across the UK. Today, February 24 is Salisbury's turn:
We Are Brontë
Salisbury Playhouse
Theatre Fest West 2018
A Publick Transport Production in The Salberg
Saturday 24 February at 2.45pm & 7.45pm

Morecambe and Wise meet David Lynch in this madcap reimagining of the Brontë myth, presented in Publick Transport’s playful and irreverent style. Taking the real and fictitious worlds of Yorkshire’s literary siblings as their inspiration, two performers combine rigorous physical theatre with anarchic comedy to deconstruct not only gothic themes of love, madness and revenge but also themselves.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Friday, February 23, 2018 11:17 am by Cristina in , , , , ,    No comments
According to Screen Daily,
eOne [...] is also developing an adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s Villette with Room author and screenwriter Emma Donoghue. (Manori Ravindran)
It's a 5 x 60mins TV Drama Mini-Series, according to one of the co-producers, Adorable Media.

Wouldn't that be great?

The West Georgian features a recent local event:
Novelist Patricia Parks read from her debut novel Re Jane last week in Kathy Cashen auditorium in the Humanities building at UWG. The novel is a retelling of the classic novel Jane Eyre, retold from the point of view of a Korean-American girl named Jane Re. The reading was a good opportunity for students to not only hear from a professional, but to also learn about her creative process as well.
        “The novel took me about seven years to write,” said Parks. “Jane Eyre is such an upset from these conventionally beautiful heroines. She is scrappy and she is an underdog. You can’t help but root for her. She was a character that really stuck with me, and as it developed from a prose poem into a novel, I couldn’t help but wonder how she would fit into the modern world that I knew.” [...]
Her next project features a character in her novel.
        “He’s a secret favorite character of mine,” said Parks. “All he’s doing in Re Jane is wiping some WD-40 on a door in the same store Jane works at, but my next novel is all about him. The character’s name is Juan Kim and he’s part of this community of Koreans in Buenos Aires, Argentina who falls in love with jazz piano. It’s all set in the backdrop of the time of the ‘Dirty War’ in Argentina and eventually moves to New York. I’m fascinated by these groups of minorities within minorities, so that’s been an interesting project to research and write.”
         The reading saw a turnout of about 40 students who all engaged heavily in asking Parks questions after her reading about her process of writing this novel. [...]
 Parks originally came up with the idea of a retelling of Jane Eyre when she used a writing exercise to lean on a classic. After writing scenes of her novel multiple times, using the story as an opportunity for a retelling was a success.
        “No one teaches you how to write a novel,” said Parks. “Everyone writes differently. I thought as an exercise to lean on a classic, and that was Jane Eyre. I just never removed that scaffolding of the original text.”
        A reception at Underground Books on the square followed the reading, allowing students even more valuable time with the author. Refreshments at the reception and students were happy and grateful that Parks was able to come share her work and her insight with them. (Kristian Flinn)
The New York Times' By the Book features author and illustrator Brian Selznick.
How do you like to read? Paper or electronic? One book at a time or several simultaneously? Morning or night? I usually read books that are actually in the form of books, with paper, covers and binding. I like the weight of the book in my hands and I prefer the experience of actually turning pages. I like the smell of books as well. I usually have two books that I am reading simultaneously. One is normally a paperback that fits into the back of my pants and is easy to travel with when I’m heading out. The other is often a hardcover and it stays at home waiting for me by my bed. That said, I do love audiobooks. I listen to audiobooks while I’m drawing. For example, I’ve listened to books by St. Augustine, Oliver Sacks, Jane Austen, Emily Brontë, Patti Smith and Carrie Fisher.
El País (Spain) interviews writer Alejandro Palomas about his stay in Tromsø  (Norway).
¿Cuáles son los colores del Ártico? Aparte de los colores brillantes de las casas, el resto del paisaje y también el cielo es muy hermanas Brontë: todo grisáceo, azulado. Solo había una especie de tundra, nada de árboles altos. Para mí era una combinación perfecta: ballenas y el universo de las hermanas Brontë en un mismo lugar. (Mercedes Cebrián) (Translation)
Más de arte (Spain) lists several books which, if you read before you're 15, will turn you into an adult who reads. One of these magical books is Jane Eyre.
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
No lo decimos (solo) porque podamos entenderla como una novela tan decimonónica como feminista, sino por el talento de Brontë a la hora de novelar, probablemente, su propia vida tras quedar en la infancia huérfana de madre, y de adoptar, no solo miradas, sino formas de contar de una enorme modernidad hablando de la educación en la infancia y del amor. (Translation)
The Guardian discusses pregnancy in literature:
It is taken for granted that birth is attendant on marriage, and so stories stop at the altar. Nothing interesting can come of us afterwards, unless it is as a coda to another’s story: Jane Eyre persists so far as the birth of her first son, only so we might be reassured by the detail that Edward Rochester’s eyesight has returned. (Jessie Greengrass)
Emily Brontë's treatment of Cathy's pregnancy in Wuthering Heights would have added to the article.

Last December, The New York Times also challenged teenagers 'to connect something you’re studying in school with the world today' and so
Certain issues in the news also appeared in all kinds of contexts. The #MeToo movement reminded students of literature like “Jane Eyre” and “The Handmaid’s Tale,” but one student also thought Newton’s first two laws of motion applied, while another saw an analogy to the rock cycle in geology. [...]
Honorable Mentions [...]
Laura Liao, 14, West Windsor Plainsboro High School North: “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë and “At the Golden Globes, Stars and Their Activist Guests Talk About Why They Fight (Katherine Schulten)
Antiques Trade Gazette comments on the export bar issued by the British government of a watercolour by John Martin and recalls the fact that,
Martin’s mezzotints of Biblical subjects, such as The Destruction of Pharaoh’s Host published in 1833, were hugely popular and influential with admirers including Charles Dickens and the Brontë sisters. (Laura Chesters)
The Guardian reviews the new TV show Young Sheldon.
Yes, it is a prequel – like Better Call Saul or The Wide Sargasso Sea, although you might argue that it is born of less pedigree stock. (Sam Wollaston)
Nerdist would like to see Andrea Arnold direct Batgirl.
We adore Arnold’s singular vision, and she already has one of our favorite literary adaptations under her belt with her brutalist version Wuthering Heights. (Rosie Knight)
Literary Leisha posts about Jane Eyre.
Several alerts for today, February 23:

At the Puget Sound University, WA:
You On The Moors Now
by Jaclyn Backhaus
directed by Prof. Jess K Smith

Performance dates:
Feb. 23 - 24, 2018, Mar. 1 - 2, 7:30 p.m.
Mar. 3, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Norton Clapp Theatre, Jones Hall
Suburban Times adds:
The play, performed by University of Puget Sound theatre arts students, opens with the heroines from Little Women, Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, and Jane Eyre running from their marriage proposals. The men don’t take rejection well and respond by waging a war—the “Moors War.”
Through ridiculous wordplay, hilarious banter, and heightened stakes, playwright Jaclyn Backhaus navigates a playful contention with the gender norms of the 19th century.
“Thisultimately moving and inventive play ends in beautiful prose, like a chapter from the books where these women originated—asking us all to reconsider how we love, how we grieve, and maybe, just maybe, if female friendships can be enough,” says director Jess K Smith, assistant professor of theatre arts at Puget Sound.
In Denver, CO:
Grapefruit Lab presents
Author/musician, Miriam Suzanne
Director Julie Rada
Original music by Teacup Gorilla and Dameon Merkl

Feb 23, 2018 – Mar 3, 2018 The Bakery

Songs and stories from Jane Eyre: a queer adaptation of the classic novel.

This is not for persons who hold solemn doctrines about the angelic nature of literature or theater: but we are not here to flatter egotism, or prop up humbug; we are merely telling the story. We value what is good in books; but we believe in the existence of other, and more vivid kinds of goodness. It is narrow-minded to say that we ought to confine ourselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags.
InFocus interviews Miriam Suzanne:
Eden Lane: What was is about Jane Eyre that inspired you to create this as your first full-length show?
MS: Julie has loved Jane Eyre since she read it in school. When she proposed it as one of several options, Miriam had to do some research to get caught up – and fell in love quickly. (Julie Rada clarified: “I didn’t read it in high school. I read it a few years ago for fun.”)
We were excited by the first-person, internal perspective of a woman growing up – a format that jumps quickly between exposition, private emotional ruminations, and cutting political statements. This is complex woman, trying to find independence in a world that won’t allow it. She’s acutely aware of power, privilege, and class in every moment – and willing to step outside the story to address it.
Meanwhile, she’s just a kid growing up: falling in love, experiencing heart-break for the first time, and pondering death, religion, and forgiveness. She’s in the action, and also looking back on it. This wild mix of personal and political, action and reflection, is how life feels to me – and I find that interesting to explore. We highlight it in production by having two Jane’s on-stage, passing the story between very personal moments, and outside commentary or narration. Lindsey Pierce plays in the action, with Miriam commenting as she provides underscore with the band.
For the second edition of the novel, Charlotte Brontë (as Currer Bell) writes a scathing preface – a defense of her character against pious critique – and then suddenly wanders off into a tangent about her favorite author: William Thackeray. The books has an attitude, and an agenda, in addition to an interesting character. We love the tangents as well as the layered authorship – Brontë writing as Bell, who writes as Jane, narrating from 10-20 years in the future. So we put Brontë on stage as well, played by Julie – sometimes defending her work, and sometimes commenting on it from a more contemporary perspective.
12:29 am by M. in , , ,    No comments
More alerts for today, February 23:
Jane Eyre
by Polly Teale
Adapted from the novel by Charlotte Brontë
Student Direcors:
Audrey Button, Delaney O’Toole

Friday, February 23 at 7:00 pm
Saturday, February 24 at 7:00 pm
Sunday, February 25 at 2:00 pm
Anderson Theatre, Anderson High School, Cincinnati, OH

Join Anderson Theatre for a winter classic. As a child in 1800’s England, the orphaned Jane Eyre is forced by the era’s harsh rules concerning feminine freedom to lock away her natural high spirits and intelligence. She survives into womanhood, and is hired as a governess by the mysterious Mr. Rochester. There, her vitality reawakens at the same time as dark secrets in the attic challenge her search for happiness. With her play adaptation of this literary classic by Charlotte Bronte, Polly Teal strives “to make visible what is hidden, to give form to the world of imagination, emotion and memory, to go beyond the surface of everyday life.” The bold and theatrically inventive play premiered in 1997 and, and has been called “One of the finest and most searching stage adaptations of a great novel ever seen."
Behind the Curtain Cincinnati has further information:
“We always want our shows to be relevant to the students lives,” says Anderson Theatre Director Hannah Linser-Wilder, “and I chose ‘Jane Eyre’ because it speaks to issues of female empowerment that we are still dealing with today.” Anderson Theatre’s Winter Play, “Jane Eyre,” opens on February 23 and runs through the 25th. Incorporating dance and shadow-box lighting techniques, it ties the original story to the current day.
And in the Brontë Parsonage Museum:
Parsonage Unwrapped: Writing the Brontës
Exclusive evening event
February 23rd 2018 07:30pm

Since the publication of Elizabeth Gaskell’s Life of Charlotte Brontë in 1857, countless biographers have researched, detailed and (on occasion) embellished the lives of the Brontë family. Join Principal Curator Ann Dinsdale for an evening considering Gaskell, Leyland, du Maurier, Gérin and Barker and how their perspectives have shaped our understanding of Haworth’s most famous family.
Brontë Treasures
The ultimate Brontë experience
February 23rd 2018 02:00pm

The Brontë Parsonage is home to the world's largest collection of Brontë artefacts, manuscripts and personal belongings. During 2017 we are offering a unique opportunity to go beyond the security cord into the Parsonage Library for a close-up viewing of some of the items not on display. During these special hour-long sessions, a member of our curatorial team will share facts and stories about a number of carefully-selected objects, offering a specialist insight into the lives and work of this inspirational family. Fascinating and moving in equal measures, Brontë Treasures is a not-to-be-missed experience.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Thursday, February 22, 2018 11:47 am by Cristina in , , , , , ,    No comments
Latrobe Valley Express features a Theatre Studies student who did a monologue based on Jane Eyre.
The day after moving to Ballarat to begin an acting degree, Kurnai College graduate Chantal Patton wowed audiences at the Beyond the Classroom exhibition opening night with her year 12 theatre studies piece, a monologue adapted from the novel Jane Eyre.
The annual exhibition showcases the 2017 VCE works of local students.
"My monologue is from Jane Eyre, but it is a play version created in London," Ms Patton said.
"[The theatre company] didn't have a script to begin with, so it cast the company ... and they picked the parts of the novel they liked and thought were really important and turned that into the script.
"There are three parts to the monologue and it is pretty high tension and [has] high emotion.
"There is a lot of inner conflict which has been really interesting for me to portray and do the research behind it, to get into the whole character." (Heidi Kraak)
Gulf News features author Jacqueline Wilson.
A book that changed me… was Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I first read it when I was 10 or 11 and I was bowled over by the fact that a small, plain, poor girl could be an amazing heroine. (Suparna Dutt-D’Cunha)
The Bookseller tells about the new work by Caryl Phillips, author of the Wuthering Heights-inspired novel The Lost Child.
Vintage has acquired a "beautiful, heart-breaking" novel about the life of Jean Rhys by Booker-shortlisted novelist Caryl Phillips. [...]
Publishing on 21st June, A View of the Empire at Sunset begins as Rhys – not yet famous as the author of Wide Sargasso Sea – is presented with an unexpected opportunity to return to the island of her childhood. Rhys lived in the Caribbean for 16 years before going to England. But in the novel, while far from "the lonely nights and failed dreams of England", a visit home to Dominica compels her to reflect on the events of her past and on what they may mean for her future.
In this way, the book will explore Rhys' "tempestuous" life: her schooldays in Edwardian England, her training as an actress, her life in Paris in the 1920s, and her return to London. According to Vintage, readers will see Rhys "battling to find her place in the world and bracing herself for the end of her marriage", branding it a novel "of the complexities of family, the nature of alienation and exile, and ultimately a story of courage and hope". (Katherine Cowdrey)
Il Libraio (Italy) interviews writers Laura Martinetti and Manuela Perugini.
Da lettrici, quali sono le vostre passioni? Laura: “Quando avevo undici anni mia madre mi diede un’edizione della sua infanzia di Jane Eyre. Ne rimasi ammaliata. Da quel momento non ho più abbandonato la lettura. (Translation)
News Whistle has a Q&A with English Professor Devoney Looser, author of the book The Making of Jane Austen.
So many people claim Jane Austen and interpret Jane Austen, and as you point out in your book, this isn’t anything new.  I discovered the novels on my own as a teenager, thanks to one of my aunts who gave my sister a collection of all the books in one volume (I stole it from her), and just uncritically enjoyed the stories and the fine writing.  When I was an English major in college, I studied Jane Austen as an satirist, reading Pride and Prejudice alongside the novels of Evelyn Waugh and Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (the Penguin abridged version).  I still love the stories and the intelligent writing and I appreciate the wit and all of the subtle irony.  (And I find myself a little annoyed when people “Brontë-fy” Austen…I appreciate the Brontë sisters, too, but they had a very different sensibility.)  So, what (or who) is your Jane Austen?  What camp do you fall into?  What adaptions or interpretations speak to you? My Austen is definitely the satirical, feminist social critic Austen. I know that not everyone reads her that way. In order to read her that way, you have to say that the most important thing is *not* their ending in fairy tale marriages. You have to say that there is a lot more going on than that. A happy-marriage ending is what a comedy does. It’s not the be-all, end-all of her fiction, which also explores dissatisfying marriages, economic struggles, family conflict, dependence and independence, and how to live a meaningful life in a world that is often deeply unfair. But the novels do it with laughs, everything from light humor to dark satire, and without hitting you over the head with a one-size-fits all moral lesson. That’s my Austen.
I think some adaptations showcase that Austen better than others. My favorite adaptations are Ang Lee’s Sense and Sensibility (1995), the BBC Pride and Prejudice (1995), and Clueless (1996). You might notice that all of those came out when I was a lot younger. I don’t think it’s an accident that adaptations of Austen that we see at a particular age or stage in our lives imprint themselves on us differently. Like you, I can’t embrace the Joe Wright Pride and Prejudice (2005), because it’s just too Brontë-ized. I’m worried about this new one that’s being done by the Poldark team for the same reason. I hope they don’t out-Wright Wright. (Laura LaVelle)
Independent reviews the film Dark River:
[Director Clio] Barnard’s narrative style is elliptical and mysterious. The sun rarely shines. Nonetheless, the film has an impressive intensity. Although it is set in the present day, it evokes memories of some of the bleaker Thomas Hardy adaptations or even of Wuthering Heights. (Geoffrey Macnab)
While Manga Forever (Italy) reviews the film Phantom Thread.
Il Filo Nascosto rappresenta una perfetta chiusa della poetica del suo cinema nel XXI secolo: se il cineasta losangelino ci aveva raccontato della ricerca dell’amore e della pace interiore nella vita di coppia in Ubriaco d’Amore, se ci aveva spiegato la ricerca del potere e la bramosia capitalista ne Il Petroliere, se ci aveva delineato gli effetti dell’amore negato sull’anima umana (e soprattutto sulla psiche) in The Master, Il Filo Nascosto lega con precisione sartoriale (il gioco di parole era d’obbligo) tutti gli argomenti dei film precedenti, ma allo stesso tempo se ne distacca notevolmente assumendo toni da romanzo gotico (c’è un po’ di Jane Eyre), da thriller hitchcockiano (c’è anche un po’ di Rebecca – La prima moglie), da mèlo intrigante, seducente, sinuoso e insinuante. (Matteo Regoli) (Translation)
Finally, on YouTube, Brontë Society Young Ambassador Lucy Powrie talks about what Emily means to her and about this year's exhibition at the Brontë Parsonage Museum, Making Thunder Roar.
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Another recent scholar contribution to Brontë studies:
Tuberculosis and Disabled Identity in Nineteenth Century Literature
Invalid Lives

by Alex Tankard
Palgrave MacMillan, 2018
ISBN: 978-3-319-71445-5
Literary Disability Studios
Contains the chapter:
'I Hate Everybody!’: The Unnatural Consumptive in Wuthering Heights (1847)

In a novel of 1847, one might expect piety and sentimentality—the moral lessons of suffering and sympathy—to dominate, but the narrative structure of Wuthering Heights ensures that the sentiments being expressed always belong to a wide array of narrating characters with varying emotional responses to the consumptive, ranging from pity to revulsion to outright abuse, without privileging any one. I still remember the physical tug of horror I felt, probably 20 years ago, when I first read Heathcliff’s response to young Catherine begging for help to nurse a dying consumptive: ‘None here care what becomes of him; if you do, act the nurse; if you do not, lock him up and leave him!’ (II. XVI, p. 259) I had never imagined a Victorian novel in which an invalid might be locked up to die alone—in which the sacred sickbed scene could be violated so callously (I had not yet read Jude the Obscure).

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Newsday interviews writer and professor André Aciman (Call Me by Your Name).
You’ve said in interviews that you read no contemporary fiction. Why? I like the classics. I’d much rather reread a book that was formative for me. Like now, I’m rereading Proust for the umpteenth time. I reread “Jane Eyre” a few months ago. I’m looking for something ancient, archaic or obsolete. (Tim Murphy)
Entertainment Weekly interviews writer Heather Webb, who is about to publish her novel The Phantom’s Apprentice, inspired by Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera.
WEBB: [...] I also really like the 2011 version of Jane Eyre with Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska, as well as Great Expectations with Gwyneth Paltrow and Ethan Hawke. (David Canfield)
Meanwhile, The Boar imagines several 'First Dates in the World of Books', including one between Heathcliff and... Hermione Granger from Harry Potter.
An unlikely pairing sits not too far away from Jay and Daisy in the form of Heathcliff and Hermione. Heathcliff does not know why he is there; Catherine has just married Edgar Linton, and his heart is broken. But, he has a plan. Hermione asks him all sorts of things – what he thinks about the University and Colleges Union strike, and other grand political ideas he knows nothing about. She even tries to lighten the mood with a question on how he feels now Jin’s has announced it won’t be closing. The response to every question is a grunt. He is too wrapped up in his emotions regarding Catherine Earnshaw’s marriage to Edgar Linton – how is he supposed to have room to care about a café closing?
‘Tell me about your school,’ he requests, tearing the conversation away from himself and directing it in the way of his revenge plans. Hermione instantly begins talking about Hogwarts and her adventures with Harry and Ron. Heathcliff shows a particular interest in her magical ability, and how he can use it to execute his revenge plan. Level-headed as ever, Hermione refuses and uses her time-turner necklace to disappear from the sea of dates in the restaurant. (Georgia Simcox)
Echo News features the life and work of social reformer Reverend Benjamin Waugh who, among many other things, set up the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in Great Britain. But also,
Waugh and his wife Sarah Elizabeth had 12 children including a daughter, Edna, who would become a notable watercolour artist and draughtsman and most famous for providing the illustrations to Emily Brontë’s blockbuster novel Wuthering Heights. (Emma Palmer)
We are somewhat baffled by this demand by an English philologist in Cuba, as reported by Vanguardia.
«En las últimas ferias me he ido con las manos vacías. Un spot de este año mostró que se venderán en la feria Papa Goriot y Cumbres borrascosas, una vez más. ¿Quién no se ha leído esos dos libros en Cuba? ¿Por qué no se imprime otra obra de Balzac o de Emily Brontë?», refuta Alejandro, joven filólogo, y añade un sinfín de cuestionamientos.(Yinet Jiménez Hernández) (Translation)
We are also rather indignant about it, to be honest ;)

Sandra Danby has romance writer Julie Stock tell about her 'porridge and cream' read, which is Jane Eyre. Lisabeth Westwood posts about a trip to Haworth. Lots of pictures of the visit of HRH The Duchess of Cornwall to Haworth and the Brontë Parsonage Museum can be seen on the Brontë Parsonage Museum Facebook page.

Finally, an alert from Ascoli Piceno (Italy):
February 21, 17:00
"Biblioteca Creativa 2018" alla Biblioteca Comunale Gabrielli di Ascoli Piceno.
Il libro ottocentesco "Cime tempestose", romanzo d'amore per antonomasia, sarà al centro della lezione spettacolo che vedrà protagonisti Cesare Catà nel ruolo di Hitcliff e Pamela Olivieri in quello di Catherine.
“In questo romanzo – spiega Catà - terrore e meraviglia si mescolano a dialoghi struggenti, si indagano le parti più nascoste, terribili e trascinanti dell'animo umano, che hanno da sempre affascinato generazioni di lettori. Cogliamo l’occasione per ringraziare l’Amministrazione Comunale per la fiducia e il pubblico che continua a seguirci sempre più numeroso”. (
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The complete poetry of Emily Brontë has been translated into Spanish in this brand new publication:
Emily Brontë. Poesía completaTranslation: Xandru Fernández
Alba Editorial
ISBN: 97884-90653852

La vida entera de Emily Brontë está recorrida por una misma pasión: la poesía. Estos poemas, compuestos en complicidad con sus célebres hermanas, Charlotte y Anne, comparten y amplían algunos de los temas centrales de su famosísima novela Cumbres Borrascosas: el amor que se sobrepone a la muerte y a la esperanza, el poder de la fantasía, la lealtad y la traición, las energías que solo se desprenden en soledad… y están escritos con la misma fuerza visionaria que sobrecoge en sus mejores páginas narrativas.
Para situar la acción de sus poemas, Emily Brontë levantó con la imaginación un espacio mítico que bautizó como Gondal: una isla situada al norte del Pacífico. Sus versos exploran las costumbres, las rivalidades políticas con los reinos vecinos y las intrigas entre la familia real de Gondal y sus nobles, bajo los que se transparentan sus propios anhelos y opresiones como mujer que vive casi aislada en un rincón de la Inglaterra del XIX.
Brontë combina en estos poemas un ojo sereno y exacto para la descripción de los paisajes con una inaudita fuerza para explorar de manera minuciosa las pasiones ocultas que mueven a los seres humanos, añadiendo un acento femenino a las posibilidades descubiertas por los poetas románticos ingleses.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 5:17 pm by M. in , , , , , , ,    No comments
BBC Radio 4's Front Row asked for your favourite female-created works of art:
Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush
Emily Brontë's novel Wuthering Heights inspired 18-year-old Bush to write this song, which she fought to convince producers to use as her debut single. Turns out she was right, as the track catapulted her to fame and is now ranked as one of the top singles of all time. 
IAI wonders why we fall in love with fictional characters:
No more do readers typically offer monogamy; if Emily Brontë's Catherine Earnshaw is one soulmate, Bulgakov’s Margarita may be another, and no exclusivity is offered or required. (...)
Let us consider an inverse case: female attraction to a dangerous male for his dangerous qualities, alongside fictionalisation of him as safe. It seems likely that generations of heterosexual female readers of Wuthering Heights have felt at least a degree of attraction to Heathcliff; and, since he is fictional, they have remained safe from physical and emotional harm. But in life this would not be so, and to read the novel in this spirit is, it is implied, a misreading. Brontë seems to have written Isabella’s plot with respect to such a possibility. When Isabella falls in love and lust with Heathcliff, Catherine feels compelled to tell her: ‘It is deplorable ignorance of his character, child, and nothing else, which makes that dream enter your head.  Pray, don’t imagine that he conceals depths of benevolence and affection beneath a stern exterior!  He’s not a rough diamond—a pearl-containing oyster of a rustic: he’s a fierce, pitiless, wolfish man.’ So he proves, in his elopement shortly afterwards with Isabella, who hardly outlives the relationship. She is Brontë’s warning to the fictionalising reader: ‘It is deplorable ignorance of his character, child, and nothing else, which makes that dream enter your head.’
This has not stopped certain kinds of couples since 1847 from modelling themselves on Catherine and Heathcliff. Of these the most famous are Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. On their return to England from America in 1956, they immediately visited Top Withens, the Yorkshire ruin thought to be the model for the eponymous house. Both subsequently wrote poems entitled ‘Wuthering Heights’, and Ted’s compared Sylvia to Emily Brontë herself. I might add that four decades later, when I was studying at Cambridge, two of my fellow undergraduates – the female partner American, the male partner English,  and both poets – were highly conscious of the antecedence in Cambridge of Plath and Hughes, and, through and beyond them, of Catherine and Heathcliff. (Catherine Brown)
Westword interviews Miriam Suzanne on the upcoming Jane/Eyre premiere in Denver:
Susan Froyd: What’s on your agenda in the coming year?
Miriam Suzanne: We’re currently in rehearsal for a (somewhat queer) stage adaptation of Jane Eyre. It’s a collaboration between my new theater company, Grapefruit Lab, my band and a few others. That has all my attention until it opens on February 23.
After that, the band will be recording a new EP, and Grapefruit Lab will start talking about a fall show. Life is never boring!
myNews LA describes what the visitor could find at the Riverside Dickens Festival:
The festival formally begins at 9:45 a.m. Saturday at the flag pole adjacent to Ninth and Main streets, in front of City Hall, where visitors will encounter actors representing Dickens, Queen Victoria, Bram Stoker, Mark Twain, H.G. Wells, Oscar Wilde, Edgar Allen Poe, Thomas Edison, Emily Brontë, Mary Shelley and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle — to name a few. (Ken Stone)
Variety reviews the new TV remake of Picnic at Hanging Rock:
[Natalie] Dormer added that the casting was actually accurate for the time, pointing to such literary characters as Jane Eyre and Blanche DuBois. “A woman was a spinster if she wasn’t married by the time she was in her late 20s.” (Ed Meza)
The Independent quotes film director Clio Barnard (Dark River) as saying:
I’d seen the Brazilian cinematographer Adriano Goldman’s Jane Eyre [he also shot Dark River], and that was a representation of the Yorkshire countryside that wasn’t picturesque in a cosy way. I wanted the film to look at what it really is. (Nick Hasted)
BookRiot lists young adult biographical fiction:
The World Within: A Novel of Emily Brontë by Jane Eagland
Spanning several years of Emily Brontë’s life, The World Within depicts Emily’s life with her siblings (Charlotte, Bran, and Anne), her father, and her aunt. Surrounded by death, Emily grieves constantly and aches to hold onto the writing games she plays with her siblings. However, her siblings have agendas for their own lives to follow, some of which includes sustaining the family. As Emily copes and endures trying real-life events, she grows as a young woman and a writer. Moments from her (fictionalized) real life will sparkle as readers recognize details from her famed Wuthering Heights. (Abby Hargreaves)
herinterest gives you tips when 'i love you' is not enough:
“The soul, fortunately, has an interpreter – often an unconscious but still a faithful interpreter – in the eye.”
It was Charlotte Brontë who said those words, in Jane Eyre. One of my favourite things to do is look deeply into your eyes, often revealing many of the things that you can’t or choose not to say. (Kimberley)
Diario Córdoba (in Spanish) talks about a recent Wuthering Heights lecture:
Bajo el título de Conversaciones enamoradas en torno a Cumbres borrascosas se ha desarrollado una interesante actividad en la Biblioteca Provincial de Córdoba, donde hemos analizado en profundidad dicha novela. Al frente, dirigiendo, ha estado la profesora María Valero Redondo. Está considerada como novela gótica de finales del siglo XVlll y es la tórrida, tormentosa y apasionada historia de amor entre Catherine y Heathcliff, lo que lleva a los protagonistas en ocasiones a colocarlos en el desdibujado y turbulento límite del abismo. En su momento hubo críticos que lo denominaron como un texto vulgar, repulsivo, morboso, etc. Dentro del contexto queda clara la relevancia de la metáfora. De este libro se han realizado varias y diferentes versiones cinematográficas en diferentes países. Alguna extracta y elimina parte del texto original. (Read more) (Pilar Redondo) (Translation)
Arab News recommends a visit to Yorkshire, PopMatters mentions the 'anachronistic' appearance of Emily Brontë in Jean Luc Godard's 1968 film Weekend.

Le Huffington Post (in French) interviews an expert of the work of John Irving:
Les libraires de Bookwitty: Comment expliquez-vous l'immense popularité de John Irving?
Karine Placquet-Wiltord: C'est un écrivain à la fois très traditionnel et atypique, et je crois que les gens sont assez sensibles à cette tension, que l'on retrouve aussi dans ses livres. Il a des accents très réalistes, des tonalités qui rappellent Charles Dickens ou Charlotte Brontë. (Translation)
Sveriges Radio and Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish) reviews The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry:
Mot slutet av romanen skriver Cora i ett brev att hon läser böcker av "Brontë och Hardy, Dante och Keats, Henry James och Conan Doyle". Utan tvekan har författaren Sarah Perry själv läst dem. Väldigt mycket. För stundtals känns det som om Emily Brontë skrivit ännu en bok som utspelar sig i dimman på de engelska hedarna. (Lina Kalmteg) (Translation)
Kärnpunkten i ”Ormen i Essex” är närheten mellan Cora och Will. Det skulle kunna vara en viktoriansk roman, en Charlotte Brontë, fast med betydligt mer humor och sälta. (Lotta Olsson) (Translation)
El Punt Avui (in Catalan) reviews the performances of Frankenstein in Barcelona:
[Carme] Portaceli va arribar a Shelley a la vegada que amb Jane Eyre, de qui també va fer una adaptació al Lliure de Gràcia, amb molta sensibilitat. Però si a Eyre el discurs rebel és la bandera, a Frankenstein Shelley desapareix. absolutament. (Jordi Bordes) (Translation)
According to Diario Motor (in Spanish):
Hethel es el idílico pueblo de la campiña inglesa donde Lotus tiene su sede. Es un sitio que perfectamente habría sido el emplazamiento evocado por Emily Brontë para su mítica novela “Wuthering Heights”, “Cumbres Borrascosas” en su traducción al castellano. (Sergio Álvarez) (Translation)
SyFantasy (in French) reviews Melmoth the Wanderer by Anne Radcliffe:
Dans les romans gothiques, il est d'usage de voir l'héroïne poursuivie par unvillain ténébreux, puis de la voir épouser le jeune premier. Ou alors, comme Jane Eyre, de provoquer la rédemption de celui qu'elle aime. Point de tout cela dans Melmoth ou l'Homme errant ! Immalie aime Melmoth tel qu'il est. Pourtant, celui-ci fait clairement comprendre à la jeune fille (parfois de façon très amère et dure) qu'il est ce qu'il est, qu'il ne peut pas changer, et que leur relation est vouée à l'échec. Pour savoir comment tout ça finit, il vous faudra lire le roman... (Adeline Arénas) (Translation)
The Brussels Brontë Blog continues mapping the Brontës' Brussels: now Mary and Martha Taylor.
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A new Brontë-related thesis:
"Fancies Bright and Dark": Sadomasochism and the Sublime in Jane Eyre
Elizabeth A. Carlin

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

The social context of Charlotte Brontë’s most famous work, Jane Eyre, provides a set of expectations for the novel’s central romance; Jane and Rochester seem to enjoy a relatively egalitarian relationship, while simultaneously occupying traditional gender roles of dominance and submission. These roles, when exaggerated or performed, push the relationship to a more intimate space; dominance becomes sadistic, and submission becomes masochistic. Introducing pain as a sensual dimension to the relationship allows for the development of an exciting tension, and ultimately enables Jane and Rochester to subvert social expectations by performing them. This tension is exciting because it turns on the instability of Rochester’s attention and affection toward Jane, which causes her to feel pleasurable and painful emotions. In his 1757 Philosophical Enquiry into The Sublime and the Beautiful, Edmund Burke’s explanation of the relationship between pleasure and pain shows that these emotions can be present simultaneously or even occur as a byproduct of one another. Burke suggests that pain is stronger, more intense, than pleasure, and that the blending of the two emotions creates an intensity of feeling which transcends simple pleasure. Using Burke and contemporary ideas of the sublime to approach Jane Eyre is advantageous for several reasons. First, it is perhaps obvious to any scholarly reader that the primary relationship of the text possesses a sadistic or sadomasochistic quality; however, this argument has been largely supported in recent scholarship with Freudian theory and other anachronistic psychoanalytic approaches. Using Burke’s study of the pleasure and pain excited by sublime delight offers a productive lens through which to consider sadomasochism in the relationship. Burke’s theory predates Brontë, and thus avoids an ahistorical bias; it allows us to pose these questions in contemporary terms. The theory of sublime delight can also introduce useful language to define the strategic code through which Jane and Rochester express forbidden desire and access pleasure indirectly. The sadomasochistic tension of their relationship overlays their proper dominant/submissive roles, and it is the exaggeration or performance of these roles which allows a space for sensation and (negative) pleasure. If we assume an ultimately egalitarian ground at the core of their relationship, as I attempt to show, we will find that the pain he subjects her to exists at a tolerable distance and generates a sadomasochistic sublime delight.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Monday, February 19, 2018 11:34 am by Cristina in ,    No comments
The Telegraph and Argus features the book The Foundry Man’s Apprentice by Edward Evans.
“I enjoy writing and to use an Agatha Christie expression, it keeps the little grey cells alive,” writes Edward, whose inspiration to put pen to paper comes from his visits to France with his wife Lilian and his home village of Haworth - coincidentally where the famous Brontë siblings lived and penned their books amidst the inspiring moorland. (Sally Clifford)
AnneBrontë.org tries to find the real-life Zenobia.
Another recent Italian translation. This time, the 1921 Patrick Brontë biography by James Senior:
Patrick Brontë
by James Senior
Translated by Alessandranna D'Auria
ISBN-13: 978-1980210511
February 2018

Patrick Brontë, padre di Charlotte, Branwell, Emily e Anne, dai campi verdi dell’Irlanda delle antiche ballate, sposa la discendente di un pirata, Maria Branwell dando vita a una progenie di scrittori sfortunati in vita ma immortali nella fama letteraria. Un tocco di follia, un po’ di eccentricità, talvolta una vena passionale che mai avremmo immaginato.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Sunday, February 18, 2018 10:49 am by M. in , , , ,    No comments
The Statesman talks about different Wuthering Heights adaptation:
Hailed as an unforgettable classic of destructive passion and immortal love, Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights is one of the most psychologically complex, self-reflexive and indeterminate of Victorian novels. Her nuanced exploration of class conflict, power, and patriarchy in this multi-layered narrative, undermines conventional notions of gender, class and propriety.
Brontë’s one and only prized 1847 classic, has remained the treasure-house of ideas for a plethora of film adaptations since the 1920s. Established directors from in and outside Hollywood have experimented, tried their hands to appropriate and transcreate Brontë’s fascinating classic. It is one such literary text that poses the daunting challenge of narratives embedded within narratives, the use of multiple narrators with multiple points of view that make it all the more difficult to be translated on screen.
The result has been both amazing and disappointing for lovers of literature and the movie-going audience. Directors like William Wyler, Luis Buñuel, Robert Fuest, Peter Kosminsky, and recently woman director Andrea Arnold, have been quite successful in their intermingled transactions of literature and film, to work out a nuanced dialectic in their intertextual and performative readings. (Read more) (Pradipta Mukherjee)
Women's empowerment through literature in The Boar:
Women in history have conquered many obstacles and torn their way through multiple restraints to get to where we are today. The Suffragettes. Rosa Parks. Marie Curie. Anne Frank. Florence Nightingale. Eleanor Roosevelt. Women in literature have faced similar struggles. Emily Brontë published Wuthering Heights under the male pseudonym of Ellis Bell (her sister, Charlotte, published Jane Eyre as Currer Bell) because they feared rejection from publishing houses if they were to approach them as women. (Katie Stokes)
The Young Folks celebrates Kate Bush's 1978 The Kick Inside record:
Wuthering Heights,” the album’s first single at Bush’s insistence, went to #1 on the UK charts, making it the first time a female singer-songwriter topped the charts with a self-penned song – and it remains Bush’s only number one single. The song was written at age 18 after Bush watched a mini-series adapted from the Emily Brontë novel of the same name. In the song she sings from the dead character Cathy’s perspective as a ghost, begging to be let inside and back into her love Heathcliff’s arms, perfectly capturing the wild and uncontainable emotions depicted in the novel. (Beth Winchester)
Britain's missing schoolchildren (because they are homeschooled) in The Sunday Times:
While her two younger sisters went to school as normal, Nina was educated at home. She was taught maths, English and other basic skills — but not science or arts. When she returned to school, she struggled to make friends.
“I didn’t know what teenage girls were like. I didn’t understand social cues. I was an avid reader but Jane Eyre doesn’t prepare you for life in 1999. I decided as a teenager I was meant to be alone, I was not meant to have any friends.” (Sian Griffiths and Iram Ramzan)
Today's Quiz in The Guardian asks you to find what links
13 Seattle doctor; Seattle S&M enthusiast; Anne Brontë governess? (Thomas Eaton)
There's also a Brontë-related question in The Times' crossword.

Daily Pakistan interviews the screenwriter Bee Gul:
Besides telling about her love for books, her favourite being Charlotte Brontë’s ‘Jane Eyre’, Bee Gul has this interesting thing to tell that music has been her biggest inspiration, partly due to her parents’ love for it, who would keep themselves updated with every genre of music and the house furnished with every kind of music player. (Muhammad Ali)
The Telegraph reviews the film Damsel:
The film pivots with a hugely bold, structurally remarkable scene midway about which I can say nothing, except that the long-awaited Wasikowska earns her co-billing and then some. The title’s an ironic clue that she’s probably capable of looking after herself – at least, one would hope so – and there’s more fire and purpose in her acting here than we’ve seen, debatably, since Jane Eyre (2011).
A concert in Suffolk, as reported by the Lowestoft Journal:
The Seraphim concert will include works by Fanny Mendelssohn, Lili Boulanger, Emily Brontë and composers like Carlotta Ferrari and more. As well as the unique a cappella sound of Seraphim’s nine voices, the celebration will include accompaniment and solo performances by renowned local pianist, Karen Smith. (Mark Boggis)
La Vanguardia (Spain) talks about the publication in Spanish of Desperate Remedies by Thomas Hardy.
La editorial barcelonesa Ático de los Libros acaba de recuperar en castellano "Remedios desesperados", la primera novela que escribió el británico Thomas Hardy, publicada en 1871 con un pseudónimo por su alto contenido sexual, muy polémico para la época.
Comparada con "Jane Eyre", de Charlotte Brontë, en esta obra el escritor narra la peripecia de Cytherea Graye, una joven venida a menos que se ve obligada a buscar empleo como dama de compañía y acaba en casa de la extravagante señorita Aldclyffe. (Translation)
Augustin Trapenard remembers in Les Inrockuptibles how
Toi, moi, nous avons tous une posture. Tout n’est que postures sociales. J'ai consacré ma thèse à Emily Brontë, qui, elle, préservait une posture du secret. (Clément Arbrun) (Translation)
MyLife posts about Jane EyreCrossexaminingcrime reviews The Missing Brontë by Robert Barnard.
We mentioned this a few weeks ago when it was published all over the press. Now we devote it a post of its own:
Drama Modern Romance presents
Wuthering Heights. Modernised for the 21st Century
Original Novel by Emily Brontë
Edited by Professor John Sutherland

What if Heathcliff's stubborn pride drove him to leave bad comments on Nelly's Twitter poll about 'Who should Catherine choose?' What if Mr Darcy was narcissistic because he could see all his potential marriage matches on Tinder? Would we have questioned Angel's love for Tess if he'd actually been distracted with Instagram and Pinterest? We're re-imagining our favourite characters from classic romance novels - Pride and Prejudice, Tess of the d'Urbervilles and Wuthering Heights - with a modern twist. Adding in digital devices and our beloved apps, we're seeing if technology would ruin the 'art of romance' in classic love stories. With the help of Professor John Sutherland, we've reworked these three classics to see how our heroes and heroines may have acted had the events taken place in social media. So take a look, download the modern classics, and don't forget - you can always find a bit of romance with Drama.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

The visit of the Duchess of Cornwall to Yorkshire and the Brontë Parsonage, in particular, is all over the place:
The Duchess of Cornwall paid a visit to the Worth Valley in Yorkshire today, and it seems she enjoyed all of the literary connections involved.
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall visited the Brontë Parsonage Museum, where all three Bronte sisters wrote their novels. This year marks both the 90th anniversary of the founding of the museum, as well as the bicentennial of Emily Brontë’s birth. In honour of the latter, the museum has, through 2017, been recreating a manuscript of Wuthering Heights.
A museum spokesman said “During 2017, over 10,000 visitors participated in Clare Twomey’s Wuthering Heights – A Manuscript project, which set out to create a new version of Emily Brontë’s long-lost manuscript by copying it out one line at a time.
“Her Royal Highness will also meet Clare Twomey before writing the last line of Wuthering Heights into the newly-created manuscript in the very house where Emily wrote the original.”
The Duchess has long been a keen supporter of literacy project and is a patron of the National Literacy Project, as well as the BBC 2 500 words competition which is running at the moment. She was then no doubt very pleased that in addition to her guided tour of the museum by Principal Curator Ann Dinsdale, the visit also included a private reception where she met staff, and local children who had recently taken part in a creative writing competition organised by the museum. (Peter Anderson in Royal Central)
Earlier, Camilla fulfilled a life-long wish to visit the Brontë family parsonage in - and even got to make her mark by writing the final line in a new manuscript of Wuthering Heights.Ostensibly her visit to the Brontë Parsonage Museum, on the edge of some of Yorkshire’s most beautiful moorland, was to mark the bicentenary of the birth of Emily Bronte and 90 years of the museum, but it was also a very personal one for the duchess.
‘I’ve always wanted to visit this place,’ she told Mail Online. ‘This really is such a treat. I’ve always been fascinated by the Brontës.’
Camilla received a short, personal tour of the house with principal curator Ann Dinsdale, and got to handle - gloves on- some of its most precious treasures, including sketches made by the famous sisters themselves - Emily, Charlotte and Anne - and miniature, handwritten books.
‘How did they do this?’ she marvelled. ‘Even with my glasses and a magnifying glass I can barely read them.’
She also wondered at how tiny the sisters, dresses were - ‘they really were so tiny, weren’t they?’ - and of the sadness of their lives. None of the sisters lived until old age: Charlotte died at 38, Emily at 30 and Anne at 29, and all were childless.
Their father, Patrick Brontë, curate of Haworth Church, outlived all of his six children and also his wife.
She was also invited to take part in Clare Twomey’s Wuthering Heights - A Manuscript project, which set out to recreate the long-lost first manuscript of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights by inviting 12,000 visitors to each copy a line from the book.
Some enthusiasts queued for three days to write the line of their choice for the bound book, which will be displayed for the rest of the year.
The duchess was invited to write the last line in the manuscript which read: ‘and wondered how anyone could ever imagine unquiet slumbers, for the sleepers in that quiet earth’.
‘I had better make sure this is in my best handwriting, ‘ she joked, but afterwards admitted: ‘I think that tailed off a bit towards the end, sorry.’
Afterwards she stopped off at a short reception where she met museum staff and volunteers, as well as local schoolchildren who recently took part in a creative writing competition organised by the museum.
The duchess is an avid reader and patron of a number of literary charities.
There was something of a royal first later as she boarded a vintage bus for a very bumpy ride through the streets of the village.
As the bus started creaking ominously at the top of a steep hill, the royal joked loudly: ‘I hope the brakes are working!’
But she still managed to wave cheerily to local well-wishers and tourists lining the streets. (Rebecca English in Daily Mail)
And The TimesStarts at 60, Yorkshire Post, International Business Times, Keighley News, BBC, Andover Advertiser, Belfast Telegraph, ...

The Yorkshire Post interviews Lily Cole about her role as creative partner of the Brontë Parsonage:
The bicentenary commemorations continue this year, with the spotlight falling on Emily, and a few weeks ago the museum announced that Lily Cole would be its creative partner.
It seemed an inspired choice. A model, actor and businesswoman, Cole has become a bit of a role model and, as a fan of the Brontës, and Emily in particular, the museum looked like it had scored a coup.
However, not everyone saw it that way and Cole’s tenure got off to a something of a rocky start when critical comments about her appointment made in a blog by a disapproving Brontë Society member went viral.
His gripe was the post should have been given to a writer, the inference being that a public face like Cole was a bit of a publicity stunt. As a number of authors and literary scholars jumped to Cole’s defence, her own dignified, articulate and measured response was published in the Guardian and when we meet in Haworth she hopes the furore is behind her as she looks forward to the next 12 months helping to celebrate Emily’s legacy.
Wuthering Heights is one of my favourite books; I have read it multiple times over the years,” she says. “And Emily’s relationship to nature and to the landscape has always resonated with me – I am a nature person at heart. In Wuthering Heights she creates a whole world, as all great novels do, that feels completely truthful and authentic – and the characters are so real. I think Heathcliff is one of the most powerful fictional characters in literature.”
Cole has taken Heathcliff as a starting point for a short film that she will be producing which is currently at the writing and development stage. It will explore the connections between the origins of Emily’s famous anti-hero, found by Mr Earnshaw abandoned as a child in Liverpool, and the real foundlings of the 19th century in a new partnership with the Foundling Museum in London, of which Cole has been a fellow since 2016.  (...)
“I have been looking through the archives there at years that have resonance – so 1764, which is the year that Heathcliff was born, 1818 when Emily was born, 1848 when she died – and immersing myself in the research to try to understand the society that Emily was living and writing in. And because her father Patrick was a social campaigner I think Emily would have been aware of some of the social issues of the time.”
While she was visiting Haworth, Cole stayed at nearby Ponden Hall, often cited as a possible model for the Wuthering Heights farmhouse, an experience she found inspiring. “It was magical,” she says. “I was so excited to see the window that Emily drew when she was 10 years old, and that had inspired that infamous scene in Wuthering Heights.”
She explored the landscape, walking across the moors to Ponden Kirk – the inspiration for Penistone Crags – before returning to the museum to explore archive material in the collection relating to Emily and her work. “There isn’t a lot, as so much has been destroyed or lost over time, but there are some really special objects,” she says. “I didn’t realise that Emily’s handwriting was so tiny. Her poems exist like secret documents and I was perhaps most surprised by Emily’s drawings, for example a beautiful portrait of a wounded hawk that she had apparently rescued. I hadn’t realised she was a talented visual artist.” (...)
“We decided that as well as marking Emily’s brilliance as a writer, we wanted to look at her wider artistic talents,” says Jenna Holmes, who leads the contemporary arts programme at the Brontë Parsonage Museum. “She was the most accomplished artist and musician of all the family. We selected projects and partners that would reflect these multi-disciplinary interests, but also touch on the themes that resonate with Emily, such as the landscape.”
There was also the opportunity to use Wuthering Heights as a means to investigate contemporary issues still relevant in society today such as identity, belonging and migration. “Lily is a perfect fit for Emily,” says Holmes. “A writer herself with interests in the environment, literacy and the creative arts as well as a social entrepreneur, there are many parallels with Emily’s work. She is a talented film-maker and we look forward to seeing what she creates.”
Other celebrations include a new exhibition, Making Thunder Roar. The show invites a number of well-known Emily admirers to share their own fascination with her life and work and relate it to a piece from the museum collection. They include screenwriter and director Sally Wainwright who chose cuttings of reviews of Wuthering Heights found in Emily’s writing desk after her death; comedian Josie Long who selected the drawing of a window made by Emily when she was a child; and novelist Benjamin Myers who used Emily’s study of a fir tree as inspiration for a poem.
Cole chose the “Bell” signatures, the androgynous pseudonyms of Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell inscribed on a fragment of paper in the handwriting of Charlotte, Emily and Anne. (Yvette Huddelston)
Banbridge Leader informs that the re-opening of the Brontë Interpretative Centre in Rathfriland has been delayed:
The re-opening of the Brontë Interpretive Centre has been put on hold whilst an application for a new entertainment licence is considered.
The centre near Rathfriland has been closed since early January to allow for essential maintenance works.
In addition to refurbishing the interior of both buildings, emergency lighting and electrical fittings have been upgraded and some sections of the concrete walkways around the centre’s grounds have been replaced.
With the application process normally taking six weeks to complete, it is anticipated that the centre will re-open in April.
iNews imagines the Brontës using social media today:
The Brontë Sisters would find their social media home on Instagram, bluestocking rivals to the Kardashians. Anne, Charlotte and Emily would post moody selfies on the Yorkshire moors and film vlogs from Haworth parsonage. #Wuthering #Wildfell (Laura Freeman)
Laura Freeman's book, The Reading Cure: How Books Restored My Appetite, is reviewed in The Times:
Freeman, who now reviews books for The Times, can pinpoint the exact hour when something in her mind gave way. It was 2001 and she was 13 and nearing the end of an idyllic summer holiday with her family. She was dreading returning to her academic all-girls school, a place more hateful to her than Jane Eyre’s Lowood or Nicholas Nickleby’s Dotheboys. Two thirds of each year group went on to Oxbridge and there was plenty of what the school called healthy rivalry, which she experienced as bullying. (Cathy Rentzenbrink)
Inspiring ladies in literature on iSubscribe:
Charlotte Brontë’s eponymous heroine Jane Eyre is regarded as one of the first feminist icons in literature. Determined to garner an education, the precocious young woman insists her guardian send her to school, upon leaving which she obtains a job as a governess. Women of the 19th century were generally expected to marry and bear children, but Jane is firmly in control of her own destiny.
Amy Chozick explains in the New York Times her literary personal history:
I’ve always been a voracious reader. Growing up in San Antonio, I was the dork at the Friday night football games with my head buried in a book — Jack Kerouac or Oscar Wilde, years before I really understood them. As my neighbors moved lava lamps and glass bongs and Foo Fighters posters into their college dorm rooms in Austin, I unpacked the Brontë sisters boxed set and a vintage edition of “The Bell Jar.” Pretentious? Let’s just say I didn’t get invited to a lot of frat parties. But that was who I was.
The Herald talks with Chloe Pirrie:
Having watched Sally Wainwright’s Brontë drama To Walk Invisible the night before, I’ve arrived in Shoreditch trailing notions of Pirrie framed by her portrayal of Emily Brontë, all flint and spark and fire. (Teddy Jamieson)
The Telegraph reviews the film The Bookshop by Isabel Coixet:
[Bill] Nighy sneaks in some necessary laughs, too, with his sheer antipathy to Clarkson’s character, and makes Mr Brundish, in his brooding isolation and principled rage, come over as exactly the reluctant riff on a Brontë hero the author had in mind. (Tim Robey)
The Times also reviews the film:
The film needed either the lightness of touch that Sally Potter brought to her recent triumph The Party (also starring Mortimer and Clarkson) or the serious intensity that Andrea Arnold brought to her Wuthering Heights. Instead it is adapted and directed by the Spanish filmmaker Isabel Coixet (Elegy) with all the finesse and psychological realism of an am-dram art-happening set on Pluto. (Kevin Maher)
Sarah Churchwell in The Guardian defends the need for women to rewrite history (the fine line between denouncing patriarchy and condescendingly retrojudging, Stalin vs Trotsky anyone?, is dangerously walked on):
That uncertainty speaks to women’s experience of the world, their need to discover whether men are predators or protectors. The classic gothic – say, Jane Eyre (1847) – tends to validate the woman’s perspective: her anxieties are warranted and legitimate. By contrast, many modern gothics – say, Rebecca (1938), which rewrites Jane Eyre – end with the heroine’s fears revealed as foolish, even hysterical; she misread the man’s perspective, and must learn to read him better in future. In other words, the story is gaslighting its own heroine: she was being paranoid. Given that such narratives encourage the audience to share the heroine’s suspicions, they also gaslight the audience, reinforcing the idea that women are unreliable interpreters of male behaviour.
Also in The Guardian, Joyce Carol Oates says:
The book that had the greatest influence on my writing
Possibly the stories of Franz Kafka. Or Dubliners. Or Wuthering Heights. Or ...
Camden New Journal reviews The Divide:
[Erin] Doherty pitches her funny, feisty character just right as she tries to make sense of the bewildering religious, political and moral differences expressed by the people she loves, and begins her own awakening secretly reading proscribed books such as Jane Eyre. (Julie Tomlin)
Dread Central interviews film director Derek Nguyen:
Mike Sprague: What are some of the films that inspired The Housemaid?
DN: Jane Eyre, The Others, Rebecca, The Shining.
The Irish Times interviews the fashion designer Josep Font:
“It is important to disconnect. I like buying artisan crafts, perfumes, soaps and finding materials for a friend who is building a house.” His preferred reading is Stendhal and Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights is one of his favourite novels. (Deirdre McQuillan)
Episcopal Café reviews the film Phantom Thread:
It is hard not to be spellbound by Paul Thomas Anderson’s disturbingly beautiful Phantom Thread, Daniel Day-Lewis’ mystifyingly memorable Reynolds Jeremiah Woodcock, and Vicky Krieps’ enigmatically sensational Alma. It is a most unconventional, unparalleled older boy meets girl story. Both Woodcock and Alma veer away from the archetypal Mr. Rochester and Jane Eyre, Max De Winter and the second Mrs. De Winter or even Professor Higgins and Eliza Doolittle. (Esther Dharmaraj)
La Stampa (Italy) reviews the novel Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor:
Lo scenario è quello di un non meglio precisato paesino rurale del nord dell’Inghilterra. A est bacini idrici e tutto intorno quella stessa lirica e cupa brughiera delle Cime tempestose di Emily Brontë. (Alessia Gazzola) (Translation)
El Norte de Castilla (Spain) talks about the La Ofrenda by Gustavo Martín Garzo:
El libro dibuja así una trama que en sí misma no oculta deberle, y mucho, a otros grandes clásicos de la novela gótica, como ‘Jane Eyre’, de Charlotte Brontë, o ‘Rebeca’, de Daphne du Maurier: «Todas ellas se construyen a partir de jóvenes heroínas desamparadas y un secreto oscuro al que se enfrentan». (Samuel Regueira) (Translation)
Il Terreno (Italy) and the ex-football player Carlo Caramelli:
Carlo Caramelli ricorda molto sir Lawrence Oliver nel film “Cime Tempestose”, sia per l’aplomb britannica che per il timbro basso, quasi roco, della voce, come il disperato Heathcliff quando invocava il nome di Cathy nella bufera di neve. In questo caso specifico, però, le condizioni climatiche o il tono impostato c’entrano poco. (Translation)
Valentine's Day still lingers on in Libero Pensiero (Italy) :
E ancora, potremmo omaggiare il bellissimo “Cime Tempestose” di Emily Brontë: il romanzo per eccellenza dell’amore come forza totalizzante e irrazionale. La bellezza del libro è nel suo essere sgombro da ogni ornamento, perché racconta di una storia lontana dal semplicistico «e vissero per sempre felici e contenti»: l’amore è inteso nella sua essenza più totale, e come tale anche in senso prettamente negativo, una storia di un sentimento ardente che va oltre ogni cosa. La bella e capricciosa Catherine e il rozzo e duro Heathcliff sono due personaggi dalla passionalità bruciante e a tratti “crudeli” nell’essenza, e il tutto viene portato ai limiti più estremi. Amore e odio che convivono, si scontrano e trovano sempre nuovi compromessi. (Vanessa Vaia) (Translation)
Boersenblatt (Germany) reviews a couple of German Wuthering Heights audiobooks:
Zu den wichtigen literarischen Terminen dieses Jahres gehört der 200. Geburtstag Emily Brontës am 30. Juli. Die britische Schriftstellerin wurde nur 30 Jahre alt; ihr Werk ist schmal, ein einziger Roman hat in ihrem Fall für den Weltruhm genügt: "Sturmhöhe". Zum Jubiläum gibt es zwei ungekürzte Hörbuchfassungen; bei der einen (Audiobuch Verlag, 12 CDs, 22,95 Euro) lesen Beate Rysop und Wolfgang Berger im Wechsel und markieren dadurch die Geschlechterspannung in Brontës Erzählwelt auch akus­tisch. Bisweilen klingt der Roman hier aber ein wenig zu brav und aufgesagt. Im Alleingang liest ihn dagegen der 2014 verstorbene Rolf Boysen (Der Hörverlag, 10 CDs, 20,95 Euro). Seine wuchtige, maskuline Deklamation, mit der er viele eindrückliche Klassiker-Lesungen von Homer bis Kleist geschaffen hat, kann bei diesem Referenzwerk der weiblichen Literaturgeschichte zunächst irritieren. Aber schnell zeigt sich: Dieser Roman voller Leidenschaftlichkeit und Selbstzerstörung, voller Stolz, Wut und Wahn ist eine ideale Partitur für den Pathetiker Boysen. Sein kantiger, schroffer, manchmal ­kauzig-komischer Ton treibt alles Sentimentale aus dem Text heraus und bringt Brontës illusionslose, in der Tradition Shakespeares stehende Kunst der Menschendarstellung zur Geltung. Gebannt lauscht man dieser intensiven Lesung, einer Sturmhöhe der Vortragskunst. (Wolfgang Schneider) (Translation)
PJs and Pugs remembers reading Wuthering Heights a few years ago;  Ksiażkowir (in Polish) posts about The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.